As police use of force continues to be a hot-button issue around the nation, members of the media on Monday got a firsthand look at what officers routinely face during simulation training at a police substation in San Jose.
De-escalation was the keyword Monday. Training focused on how to lower the tension between officers and a suspect. But as this reporter witnessed during what's dubbed a forced-option simulator, that’s much easier said than done.
"The Taser doesn't work; it's ineffective," the trainer says as the reporter faces a suspect with a large knife who just knocked out another man.
"Put the knife down," the reporter yells.
Several reporters went through other similar scenarios, deciding in seconds whether or not to shoot.
"You’re ready for a gunfight because you believe he has a gun,” one trainer says.
The training was done under the watchful eye of police Chief Eddie Garcia, who wanted reporters to get a taste of what his officers confront.
"We want to offer an opportunity for transparency, to show the community through the media what our officers face day in and day out," Garcia says, "and how we train them to handle the situation and how to de-escalate situations out in the field."
Cadets and seasoned veterans are all going through the training now, Garcia says, as the department tries to resolve situations with the minimal amount of physical force.